Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia may not be able to use a voting booth in the November elections thanks to the state’s new voter ID law, which is perhaps the most strict in the entire country.
The problem is Ellis-Marseglia’s name on her voter registration does not match the name on her driver’s license. "In my case, it is an issue of a driver's license without a middle initial," she said in an email.
Her driver's license lists her full name as "Diane Marseglia," but her voter registration reads " Diane M. E. Marseglia."
The disparity in Ellis-Marseglia's names caught the attention of Pennsylvania's Department of State, which notified her in an advisory letter two weeks ago, "along with District Attorney Heckler, Representative Gene DiGirolomo and others," she said.
Under the new law, she may need to correct that name disparity, or use a different form of that matches her voter registration. The list was generated by cross referencing the data from the DMV with voter registration, and that kicked out a list of names with conflicting IDs.
It's unlikely, however, that everyone on that list will have trouble voting in November, Ron Ruman, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told The Morning Call. But some voters won't have acceptable ID, and that's why the notification letters were sent.
"If they turn me down, to vote, on Election Day," she said, "I will simply request and use a provisional ballot."
But Ellis-Marseglia, a Democrat, doesn't think it will get that far.
"I assume the law will be overturned," she said. "The Voter ID law is a joke and a huge, enormous waste of human resources and money. At a time when we have so many important things to deal with, we have legislators, a Governor, and a Lt. Governor rushing through laws they never vetted. And, as Senator Turzai indicated: [it's] is all about disenfranchising those who are least likely to have a picture ID because they are most likely to vote for President Obama."
In March, Pennsylvania passed before voting. This is one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation. Voter advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, challenged the new requirement in court.
The decision on that case could be released as early as today.
If upheld, Ellis-Marseglia could be joined by more than 750,000 Pennsylvania voters, , who may not be able to vote in November unless the take action to obtain acceptable identification.
Are you on the list?
Did you get a letter explaining your driver's license is not a valid ID for voting? What will you do about it? Is it fair, or no big deal?